Earplugs? ✔Check. Eye protection? ✔Check. Hat? ✔Check.
Even with earplugs, the rapid firing of the AR15-based rifles is loud. Eleven law enforcement officers are sharpening both their shooting skills and their teaching skills during a Patrol Rifle Instructor course offered by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) at its Firing Range at the Riverside Campus in Bryan.
Law Enforcement Training Manager Lee Santo and adjunct instructor Ronnie Huddleston put the officers through their paces, and it’s no walk in the park.
“Each officer must qualify with the rifle by shooting 50 rounds in a timed drill from 50, 25, 15, 7 and 3 yards,” Santo said. “To qualify, the officers must score 100%, meaning ALL 50 rounds must be accounted for in the highest scoring portion of the silhouette. Any misses or any rounds not fired in the allotted time is a failure.”
Next they learn techniques for teaching these skills to other officers. They develop a lesson plan and teach it to other members of the class.
The course is accredited by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) and is open to officers who have already completed the Basic Instructor and Basic Firearms Instructor courses. The officers in this class come from across eastern and central Texas, from as far away as Tyler, League City, San Antonio and Fredericksburg, as well as from Bryan-College Station.
Sgt. Derek Seelig of the Fredericksburg Police Department has attended two other TEEX classes, Basic Instructor Development and Firearms Instructor.
“I attended Firearms Instructor at TEEX in 2014 and began doing firearms training at my department,” he said. “I like the TEEX facility, and I am impressed with the quality of instruction. Lee Santo does a top-notch job. I have thoroughly enjoyed this class, and I always learn a lot. Also, I like to workout after class, and the Wiatt facility is awesome.”
Watch a demonstration of a timed rifle drill by Lee Santo.